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Sri Ramakrsna Paramahansa

Freeindia > Biographies > Sages, Rushis And Saints > Sri Ramakrsna Paramahansa
Sri Ramakrsna Paramahansa [1836-1886]

Extant during Kaliyuga's years 4936 to 4987 ( i.e. 1836 to 1886 A.D. )

The famous ascetic ( renunciate ) householder, saintly accomplished person ( endowed with supernatural powers - Siddha Purusa ) of Bengal, Swami Vivekananda has been whose disciple. His name in childhood was Gadadhar. Doing the work of a priest in the temple of Mother Goddess, Kali, at Daksinesvara near Calcutta, his entire life had become fully replete with Kali. A longliving accomplished saint, Swami Totapuri was his Guru from whom Sri Ramakrishna got enlightening knowledge of Vedanta. Along with practising for knowledge he also did Tantrasadhana. Seeing him in the condition like that of a mad-man during the period of his hard sadhana people regarded him as one really gone mad. Safe-keeping of his life itself had become a subject of worry with his well-wishers. But once his Sadhana was complete he became a Paramahansa ( the Supreme among the ascetics ). He tested by practising the methods of sadhana adopted by different sects and found that all religious sects are non-adversaries and are the ways of realizing God. In those days, the tendencies of Intellectualism, of Atheism and of blind imitation of the alien culture were quite strong in Bengal. Sri Ramakrishna by educating the people in spirituality in a simple understandable style put a check to these tendencies. Very great intellectuals and wisemen became his disciples. Even from far off places, from abroad people started coming to have his darsana. His disciples instituted an order of monks by the name " Ramakrishna Mission " to preach his message far and wide.

Sri Ramakrishna, who was born in 1836 and passed away in 1886, represents the very core of the spiritual realizations of the seers and sages of India. His whole life was literally an uninterrupted contemplation of God. He reached a depth of God-consciousness that transcends all time and place and has a universal appeal. Seekers of God of all religions feel irresistibly drawn to his life and teachings. Sri Ramakrishna, as a silent force, influences the spiritual thought currents of our time. He is a figure of recent history and his life and teachings have not yet been obscured by loving legends and doubtful myths. Through his God-intoxicated life Sri Ramakrishna proved that the revelation of God takes place at all times and that God-realization is not the monopoly of any particular age, country, or people. In him, deepest spirituality and broadest catholicity stood side by side. Freeindia > Biographies > Sages, Rushis And Saints > Sri Ramakrsna Paramahansa
The God-man of nineteenth-century India did not found any cult, nor did he show a new path to salvation. His message was his God-consciousness. When God-consciousness falls short, traditions become dogmatic and oppressive and religious teachings lose their transforming power. At a time when the very foundation of religion, faith in God, was crumbling under the relentless blows of materialism and skepticism, Sri Ramakrishna, through his burning spiritual realizations, demonstrated beyond doubt the reality of God and the validity of the time-honored teachings of all the prophets and saviors of the past, and thus restored the falling edifice of religion on a secure foundation.

Drawn by the magnetism of Sri Ramakrishna's divine personality, people flocked to him from far and near -- men and women, young and old, philosophers and theologians, philanthropists and humanists, atheists and agnostics, Hindus and Brahmos, Christians and Muslims, seekers of truth of all races, creeds and castes. His small room in the Dakshineswar temple garden on the outskirts of the city of Calcutta became a veritable parliament of religions. Everyone who came to him felt uplifted by his profound God-consciousness, boundless love, and universal outlook. Each seeker saw in him the highest manifestation of his own ideal. By coming near him the impure became pure, the pure became purer, and the sinner was transformed into a saint. The greatest contribution of Sri Ramakrishna to the modern world is his message of the harmony of religions. To Sri Ramakrishna all religions are the revelation of God in His diverse aspects to satisfy the manifold demands of human minds. Like different photographs of a building taken from different angles, different religions give us the pictures of one truth from different standpoints. They are not contradictory but complementary. Sri Ramakrishna faithfully practiced the spiritual disciplines of different religions and came to the realization that all of them lead to the same goal. Thus he declared, "As many faiths, so many paths." The paths vary, but the goal remains the same. Harmony of religions is not uniformity; it is unity in diversity. It is not a fusion of religions, but a fellowship of religions based on their common goal -- communion with God. This harmony is to be realized by deepening our individual God-consciousness. In the present-day world, threatened by nuclear war and torn by religious intolerance, Sri Ramakrishna's message of harmony gives us hope and shows the way. May his life and teachings ever inspire us.

Swami Adiswarananda

Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center of New York
Freeindia > Biographies > Sages, Rushis And Saints > Sri Ramakrsna Paramahansa
Aphorisms of Sri Ramakrishna

A kite was flying skyward with a fish in its beak when a number of crows and kites pursued it, making a tremendous noise and annoying it dreadfully. It tried many ways to escape with its prey, now soaring up and then coming suddenly down, again darting swiftly in one direction next plunging round and making for the opposite, but all to no purpose. Its tormentors would not leave it alone. At last, exhausted it dropped the fish, which was instantly caught up by another kite, to its great relief for its tormentors now turned their attention to the talons of the second captor and left it alone. Once free, it alighted on a tree and perched to rest. An Avadhuta who was watching the birds, seeing the kite at last perch itself serenely on a tree, bowed to it and exclaimed "Oh what peace and happiness attend upon him who shakes off all attractions and burdens and becomes free! What danger otherwise !"

When shall I be free? When that "I" has vanished. "I and mine" is ignorance: "Thou and Thine" is knowledge. The saint would say, "Thou, O Lord, art the Doer (Karta)."

What is called the "mischievous I"? The "I" which says, "What! Don't they know me? I have so much money! Who is so wealthy as myself? Who dares to surpass me?"

By acquiring the conviction that all is done by the will of god, one becomes only a tool in His hand. Then one is free, even in this life. "Thou doest Thy work, men say, "I do it."

Even when we are blinded by the fulfillment of every worldly desire there may arise in us the question, "Who am I to enjoy all this?" This may be the moment in which begins a revelation of the secret.

Think always to yourself in this wise: "These family concerns are not mine, they are God's and I am His servant. I am here to obey His wishes." When this idea becomes firm, there remains nothing which a man may call his own.

As a vessel that has held garlic paste retains the odor, even after it is washed, so also lingers egotism even in the nature that has been purified by knowledge.

In making delicate weighing one has to shake the balance from time to time to see whether the oscillating needle will every time come back to the middle point; if it does not do so, the weightment is incorrect. Similarly, one must test oneself from time to time to see whether he has conquered his lower self.

When the idea has been perfectly assimilated, the man will retain only the appearance of having the feelings and impulses of his own. Even if the egotism of the servant or the worshipper should remain, he who has attained to God can hurt none. The who sting of personality has vanished. The sword has become gold by the touch of the philosopher's stone. It keeps its form but cannot wound again.

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Published on: 2003-02-01 (7748 reads)

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Sri Ramakrsna Paramahansa
Sri Ramakrsna Paramahansa
Aphorisms of Sri Ramakrishna
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